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Every flag with the president's seal is made in Philadelphia. Meet the embroiderers making it happen

Meet the Philadelphia embroiderers who make every flag with the U.S. presidential seal
Meet the Philadelphia embroiderers who make every flag with the U.S. presidential seal 04:15

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The presidential seal is a symbol of power and executive authority. It's why this distinguished mark is displayed on the flag of the president.

It's often seen in official photos, flown next to the casket of a former president or on the presidential motorcade.

CBS News Philadelphia

Every flag since 1799 has been handmade by the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support in Philadelphia.

"The president and vice president are busy people," Flag Room Supervisor Adam Walstrum said. "They travel a lot and they need flags to be present wherever they are."

From the quartermaster depot in South Philadelphia to what is now the flag room on the naval base in Northeast Philadelphia, the craftsmanship is like no other.

"We can almost pinpoint exactly whose flag that is," Walstrum said.

Also an embroiderer himself, Walstrum says these skilled individuals have a unique style. Like Linh Ho, who learned her craft in Vietnam. Ho pointed out a flag that was hers after recognizing a signature of hers: a sideways stitch along the eagle's neck.


Walstrum says they are currently finishing up flags for the next administration.

A critical member to the team is Sam Soifer, who showed us a special stitching technique that creates a mirror image, it alleviates having to use two flags.  

In addition to embroidery, she is also responsible for tracing the designs to help alleviate errors, something Walstrum says they catch way in advance.

"These flags are more accurate than a machine could ever be, but they are all unique," Walstrum said.

Members of the Defense Logistics Agency's flag room will be on site Friday for Flag Day at Philadelphia's Betsy Ross House.

They will be demonstrating the techniques they use to embroider the presidential flags from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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